ATI CATALYST Control Center FAQ
Q1: When will the CATALYST Control Center support all RADEON class products?
A1: The initial release of the CATALYST Control Center and accompanying SDK will be available in early September, in conjunction with driver release 8.041 and will be supported on the R3XX, R4XX class of products. A future release of the CATALYST Control Center will add support for the entire RADEON class of products later this year.
Q2: How do I re-enable the old control panel after I've installed the CATALYST Control Center?
A2: As long as the control panel and the CATALYST Control Center are both installed, just un-install the CATALYST Control Center and reboot your system to get the old ATI control panel back.
Q3: Why was the decision made to use the .NET framework for the CATALYST Control Center?
A3: The Microsoft .NET Framework provides a highly productive, standards-based, enterprise-ready, multi-language environment that simplifies application development, and facilitates integration with existing software. The .NET framework gives programmers the freedom to write applications using a number of different programming languages, allowing customers to very easily develop extensions or services for the CATALYST Control Center.
Q4: Will the CATALYST Control Center be supported on Linux or Mac platforms?
A4: ATI is actively investigating supporting the CATALYST Control Center on Linux and Mac platforms. There are some technical challenges that we are addressing to accelerate this process.
Q5: Will the CATALYST Control Center have any impact on application performance?
A5: No. The memory that is occupied by the CATALYST Control Center will be released when other applications require more memory.
Q6: What are the software requirements for the CATALYST Control Center?
A6: The CATALYST Control Center requires Microsoft's .NET version 1.1 as well as the ATI 8.041 (or later) driver.
Q7: What are the system requirements for the CATALYST Control Center?
A7: The initial release of the CATALYST Control Center requires a DirectX 9 class graphics accelerator - this includes the RADEON 9500 and above plus the new RADEON X Series of products. We also recommend a mid-to-high end Intel or AMD CPU, with 512 MB of RAM.
Q8: Will there be further improvements/additions to the CATALYST Control Center in the future?
A8: The CATALYST Control Center is a new product and will be enhanced and improved upon with each new CATALYST release. Future releases of the CATALYST Control Center will include a number of new features, improve performance, and fix issues that end-users may be experiencing.
Q9: Why does the CATALYST Control Center open network connections on my system?
A9: The architecture of the CATALYST Control Center is based on the client-server model, and uses the Microsoft .NET framework as its foundation.
The CATALYST Control Center run-time (which could include 3rd party plug-ins), acts as the server component and provides the interface between the display driver and the client component, also known as the CATALYST Control Center user-interface (which could be ATI only, 3rd party only, or a combination of both). This extremely flexible architecture requires the run-time and server components of the CATALYST Control Center to communicate with one another via network messages. It is very important to note that all CATALYST Control Center communications that use the .NET channels are "localhost" only, which means there is absolutely no connection to outside non-local systems. Unfortunately users may see warnings from various firewalls, as most firewall software is unable to differentiate between "localhost" and "outside" connections.
Q10: Why does the CATALYST Control Center require 3 "CLI.exe" files as well a "Preview.exe" file?
A10: The CATALYST Control Center has been separated into different components (a unique instance of CLI.exe per component) because it allows us to tune the characteristics of the process instance to the type of component. One component is called the "Runtime", which acts as a server to all of the other client components. The two other client components are the "User-Interface" and the "System Tray". The client "CLI.exe"s are tuned differently to enhance performance; the "User-Interface" client is optimized to run for short periods of time, whereas the "System Tray" client is designed to run for long periods of time. The "preview.exe" file (used for the 3D preview) is a based on the Win32 process (whereas the rest of the CATALYST Control Center is based on the .NET framework), and is strictly an OpenGL application. Note that the preview "preview.exe" process is used only when the "User-Interface" is operating, and is ended as soon as the CATALYST Control Center is closed.
Q11: Why does the CATALYST Control Center require more RAM than the old ATI Control Panel?
A11: The CATALYST Control Center is far more advanced than the old control panel and as a result it requires more system memory. It should also be noted that when the CATALYST Control Center loads and initializes, the operating system allocates memory as needed. However, since the CATALYST Control Center is built using the Microsoft .NET Framework, it appears to consume more memory during initialization than it actually uses during normal runtime operation. Thus, after a few moments, the operating system releases most of the initial memory allocation, leaving only the core amount needed for normal operation.
The 3D preview is an OpenGL application that uses a number of textures and shaders and requires approximately 20 MB of RAM while it is running - as soon as the CATALYST Control Center is closed the preview stops running, and releases the occupied RAM.
Q12: How to I create a new skin for the CATALYST Control Center?
A12: ATI used Stardock's skinstudio application, found at www.skinstudio.net to design the CATALYST Control Center skins. A free version of skinstudio can be found at the website.
Q13: Will the software SDK be available at launch as well?
A13: Yes, the software development kit will be available for download when we launch CATALYST Control Center.
Q14: Does ATI have any plans to work with the user community to share new plug-ins and utilities for CATALYST Control Center?
A14: Yes, in the coming months we will be rolling out some contests and promotions in the user community to encourage development of new extensions for CATALYST Control Center. More details will be available in the next month or so.